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Two teenage traders are hoping to make the most of a unique market day to sell their fantastic handmade crafts – and fund a charity trip to Africa.

Friends Molly Shaw and Amy Norris jumped at the chance to take up a free stall at Dudley’s first Teenage Market so they could raise cash for their African adventure next year.

The Dudley College students will sell their goods at the market on October 31 in Stone Street Square along with scores of other young traders making the most of the 25 free stalls.

They each need to raise £2,000 to fund an African Conservation Experience trip to the Kruger National Park, in South Africa, where they will learn about wildlife conservation.

Molly, aged 19, from Dudley, said: “I will be selling a range of crafts, including tissue pouches, cup cosies and Christmas decorations. I think the Teenage Market is a fantastic idea.  It gives people like me the chance to learn what people like to buy as well giving us the opportunity to make our own money.  I’m really looking forward to it and I hope people come along on the day to see what we’ve got to offer.”

Amy Norris, 17, from Blackheath, will set up her stall selling items such as bunting and sweet treats to raise money to attend the same conservation trip.

And while people are browsing the stalls teen bands and performers will entertain the crowds and showcase their talents during the day.  

Among them will be indie/rock group Beyond The Bay. The four-piece from Dudley is made up of local lads Ben Griffin, 15, Dan Harris, 16, Sam Foley, 16 and Ben Buffery, 16.

Ellowes Hall Sports College pupil and band guitarist Ben Griffin, said:

“We have been together for about six months now and played our first proper gig only recently.  We performed for charity and we ended up raising loads of money, which was great.

“It is our dream, of course, to make it big in the music world, but for now it’s something that we enjoy and our main hobby.

“We’re really looking forwards to playing on stage at The Teenage Market.  When you are under 18 there are limited opportunities for gigs, so this is a great chance for us.

“The Teenage Market is a great idea and I think that it will be fun day for everyone, so I hope that as many people as possible come along to enjoy it.”

There are still a few performance slots left at Dudley’s first Teenage Market Day which is organised by the Dudley Ambassador scheme with funding from the European Regional Development Fund and Dudley Council.

Scores of Teenage Markets have sprung up all over the country thanks to the brainchild of two brothers Tom and Joe Barratt who wanted to revitalise their home town’s market in Stockport.

The idea quickly took off and has now got backing from the Queen of Shops Mary Portas, who described the scheme as innovative and inspiring.

Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, cabinet member for planning and economic development, said:

“We have had a lot of interest in the market since announcing it and I’m delighted that students like Molly and Amy are making the most of it to help them raise money for their charity trip. You can forget the BBC’s The Apprentice – this is where you’ll see some great young people being properly entrepreneurial.”  

The Teenage Market will complement Dudley’s market place project which has benefited from more than £6 million investment funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Dudley Council.

To book a performance slot, go to www.theteenagemarket.co.uk/town/dudley